Deptford Twp. – The Gloucester County College & Community Chorus hopes to bring peace, love and joy to area residents via its annual Holiday Cheer Concert on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 3 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center.
Conductor Lawrence De Pasquale and accompanist David Anderson return for their 14th season to lead an array of yuletide carols. The 50-voice choir opens its repertoire with “Hannukah O Hannukah,” a traditional Hebrew folk song, to honor this year’s Festival of Lights. From there the ensemble sings a rendition of French composer Gustav Holst’s “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence,” featuring GCC student Jason Puskar, of Woodbury, as a baritone soloist.
The first half of the program also includes Floyd Werle’s “Rejoice, Rejoice Believers.” Although of Swedish origin, the chorus adds a Latin American flair to this holiday classic with a Habanera section. GCC students Anna Harris, Ashley McManus and Amanda Ferriozi each portray the voice of John the Baptist in Bradley Ellingboe’s “Prepare Ye.” Vocalists Keith Heimlich and Christos Harakas provide the tenor obbligati to this cantata as the women sing the readiness passages from Isaiah.
After a short intermission, South Jersey Choral Directors’ Association past President James Davis, of Woodstown, takes center stage as the tenor soloist in Adolph Adam’s “O Holy Night.” The chorus then moves into its main carol, Darby Simeone’s “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Alto Amy Shimmin, daughter of composer William Shimmin, leads two small group performances of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow.” The program closes with a stereophonic reverie of the late Clarence W. Miller’s composition of “Carol Around” and “Silent Night.”
Tickets are $5 and can be purchased in advance by calling 856-415-2139. House seating is limited to 250 guests. Proceeds will benefit the John V. Chard Memorial Scholarship Fund, a choral scholarship, which is given to selected applicants who are pursuing studies in higher education either at GCC or elsewhere in the locale.
Gloucester County College’s 250-acre campus is located at 1400 Tanyard Road in Deptford, right off Exit 56 of Route 55.